F&M Stories

Barbershops, Beauty Salons in COVID-19 Times

Photographer and visual artist Shelby Wormley, last fall's artist-in-residence at Franklin & Marshall College, shares the views she captured through her lens with an exhibit this month.

"THE SHOP PRESENTS: ESSENTIALS," opens at F&M's Susan and Benjamin Winter Visual Arts Center Friday, March 4, with a reception from 6 to 8 p.m. It will remain on view through Saturday, March 26.

Supported by F&M's Center for Sustained Engagement with Lancaster (CSEwL), the exhibit focuses on the role barbershops and beauty salons play in Lancaster County's communities of color, and the pandemic shutdown's impact on the well-being of these neighborhoods.

"Barbershops and beauty salons serve as cornerstones for communication and connectivity in Black and brown communities," Wormley says. "They offer more than just a fresh cut. Our hair care is a culture that is preserved through the craftsmanship of our barbers and stylists."

A Purchase Prize winner for the Art of the State Exhibit at the Pennsylvania State Museum, Wormley was the inaugural Social Practice and Community Engagement Program Artist in Residence for F&M's Center for Sustained Engagement with Lancaster.

For the last decade, she has worked as a photojournalist throughout south central Pennsylvania, using her camera as a tool to document, learn, and engage within her community.

The Center for Sustained Engagement, funded by a generous grant awarded the College by the Endeavor Foundation, generates new avenues of inquiry, initiatives and research collaborations between F&M and the county's diverse constituencies.

Barbershops and beauty salons ... offer more than just a fresh cut. Our hair care is a culture that is preserved through the craftsmanship of our barbers and stylists.
Wormley was F&M's artist-in-residence for the fall 2021 semester.
Shelby Wormley

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